Thanksgiving Harvest — A Time to Be Thankful

by Eric Dunbar

Thanksgiving2 Corinthians 4:15
“For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the man, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.”

I remember growing up as a child, helping my mom set the table of a big family Thanksgiving feast. We always had lots of food. If we didn’t have anything else, we had food. Thanksgiving Day was especially special to me because it was the day that I got to see all of my cousins, and family and friends would drop in to get a bite to eat.

In America, we celebrate Thanksgiving to commemorate the survival of the first American colonists, who became famously known as “Pilgrims.” In September of 1620, the Mayflower left Plymouth, England. On board were 102 passengers. Religious separatists, the Pilgrims were looking for a new home where they could worship God. After a brutal 66 day trip across the Atlantic, the Pilgrims dropped anchor near Cape Cod at the mouth of the Hudson River. One month later they arrived at Massachusetts Bay, where they established a village that became known as Plymouth.

The First Thanksgiving

The Pilgrims owed their first Thanksgiving to an Abenaki Indian named Squanto, a member of the Pawtuxet tribe. Squanto taught the malnourished Pilgrims how to cultivate corn, extract sap from maple trees, catch fish, and how to avoid poisonous plants. Fourteen months later, in November 1621 the Pilgrims reaped their first harvest of corn.  Today, we commemorate that harvest as “Thanksgiving.”

Thanksgiving is the name that the Pilgrims attributed to their festive celebration of the harvest. Today, we have much to be thankful for. Like the Pilgrims, we also have a tribal hero, a member of the Israelite tribe of Judah. His name is Jesus. We call Him the Christ because He is our Savior, having delivered us from something much worse than a brutal winter.

But the first day of thanksgiving began when Jesus, who was crucified, rose from His grave, alive and well, after dying a horrible death on the cross. Jesus is our tribal hero, our risen Savior, because He redeemed us from the curse of the law, having satisfied the requirement for sin on our behalf.

Thank God for the Gift of His Son

Everyone has something to be thankful for. We’re thankful for our spouses, our homes, our jobs, our families, and on an on. But Thanksgiving should not be just about food, family, and material blessings. To be thankful without thanking the One who gives us all things is vanity.

The Apostle, Paul, writes, “For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the man, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.” All things are for our sakes – the good, the bad, persecution, and blessings – in order that the unmerited favor of God, after spreading through our entire being, may open our eyes to be thankful and abound to the glory of God.

It cost God everything to bless us with the abundant life that we are so thankful for. Let us remember that Jesus is our Thanksgiving hero. It is because of Jesus that we have peace with God, and because we have peace with God we can enjoy the abundant riches of life.

On this Thanksgiving Day, allow the Spirit of the risen Christ to abound in your heart, and give glory to God for all the things He has given us, most especially, the gift of His Son.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING, from, and, as always, be blessed!

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